ANALYSIS OF END-USER DOCUMENTATION RELATING TO THE TRANSFER OF CONVENTIONAL WEAPONS AND AMMUNITION

In August, the Conflict Armaments Research body published the latest edition of its Diversion Digest which contains an analysis of end-user documentation held in its archive.  It says that a comprehensive and detailed end-user document should provide an export licensing authority with information that would form the bedrock of its diversion risk assessment.  The documentation is end-user certificates (EUC) and certified end-user statements (EUS).

An EUC is an official document, issued by a competent authority of the importing State, that identifies a government agency of the importing State as the ultimate recipient of an international transfer of small arms or light weapons.  A certified EUS is a document issued by a private end-user that provides assurances regarding the end user and end-use of internationally transferred small arms or light weapons [and] that has been stamped and signed (or otherwise certified) by a competent authority of the importing state.  However, there is a lack of international consensus regarding the structure and scope of end-user documentation. Documents are not standardised across exporting or importing authorities, and differences in national systems and definitions pose a challenge to supply-chain control.

The key findings of the analysis is the lack of standardisation; the absence of key information, such as an expiry date and/or provide only vague descriptions of the end-use/user (e.g. just “the government”); inconsistent re-export clauses, where these exist; limited delivery verification and/or post-shipment controls; and red flags that included omitted or redacted important information, poorly completed documentation or (in one case) 2 separate documents bearing the same “unique” reference number(!).

https://www.conflictarm.com/digests/diversion-digest-issue-2/

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HOW SOCIAL MEDIA FUNDRAISING CAN SKIRT THE RULES ON FUNDRAISING FOR TERRORIST ORGANISATIONS

On 27th August, a post on Bellingcat said that an ostensibly independent activist group has been boosting Hezbollah messaging and fundraising on social media — and this is occurring amid increased scrutiny of Hezbollah’s use of Facebook and other platforms.  A report in the New York Times said that Hezbollah, Hamas, and Al-Shabaab post non-violent content such as images of “festive parades and religious celebrations”, which allows the groups to “proliferate largely unchecked on social media”.

https://www.bellingcat.com/news/2019/08/27/hashtaggers-for-hezbollah-how-social-media-fundraising-can-skirt-the-rules/

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HONG KONG: $124 MILLION IN ASSETS FROZEN IN SUSPECTED SHARE MANIPULATION CASE

A release on Mondo Visione on 27th August reported that the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) has commenced proceedings against a group of local and overseas investors suspected of manipulating the shares of a listed company, Ching Lee Holdings Limited through a large scale and highly organised manipulative scheme.  On 11th July, the SFC applied for urgent interim injunctions, with a view to ensuring that there are sufficient assets to meet the restoration orders that the court may make for the benefit of affected counterparties to the impugned transactions involving Ching Lee shares.  Interim injunction followed, freezing assets of up to $124.9 million held by 15 local and overseas entities – as part of the proceedings against 20 individuals and corporate entities.

http://www.mondovisione.com/media-and-resources/news/hong-kong-securities-and-futures-commission-court-extends-interim-injunctions-f/

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BaFin IN GERMANY LATEST TO DEFER PSD2 AUTHENTICATION RULES ENFORCEMENT

An article from Out-Law on 27th August reported the comments of an expert that online payment processes in Germany are unlikely to adhere to new standards on customer authentication and security any time soon.  The EU-wide rules were due to take effect from 14th September.  Fears over readiness has led the EBA to tell national regulators that they could delay their enforcement of the new rules in certain circumstances to give businesses more time to update their systems and processes, and a number of regulators across EU member states have since outlined their plans to delay enforcement – for example, by up to 3 years in France, and by up to March 2021 by the UK.

https://www.pinsentmasons.com/out-law/news/bafin-latest-to-defer-psd2-authentication-rules-enforcement

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UK: CUSTOMS OFFICERS SEIZE 1 TONNE OF GIRAFFE AND CHIMPANZEE MEAT IN A YEAR

The Times on 27th August reported that the amount of illegal bushmeat seized by the Border Force has doubled in the past 5 years, leading to fears that demand in Britain is fuelling the trade in meat from chimpanzees, elephants, giraffes and other threatened species.  1,149kg of meat from wild animals was seized at ports and airports and in posted packages in 2018-19, up from 946 kg the previous year and 544 kg in 2014-15.

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/customs-officers-seize-one-tonne-of-giraffe-and-chimpanzee-meat-sbb93bd0n

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GUINEA, NAMIBIA AND HONDURAS JOIN OECD GLOBAL FORUM ON TAX TRANSPARENCY

On 27th August, Accountancy Daily reported that the 3 countries had become members of the Forum, which thus has 157 member states.  The Global Forum’s aim is to ensure that all jurisdictions adhere to the same high standard of international co-operation in tax matters, by means of a robust monitoring and peer review process.

http://www.oecd.org/tax/exchange-of-tax-information/guinea-namibia-and-honduras-join-the-fight-against-tax-evasion.htm

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FIRST FEDERAL CRIMINAL CASE CHARGING AN UNLICENSED MONEY REMITTING BUSINESS THAT USED A BITCOIN KIOSK

On 27th August, a news release from US Immigration and Customs Enforcement advised that a Los Angeles area man, Kunal Kalra, 25 – aka “Kumar,” “shecklemayne” and “coinman” – has agreed to plead guilty to federal federal narcotics, money laundering charges for running unlicensed Bitcoin exchange and ATM, including owning and operating an unlicensed money transmitting business where he exchanged up to $25 million in cash and virtual currency for individuals, including Darknet drug dealers and other criminals – some of whom used his Bitcoin ATM kiosk.  It is believed to be the first federal criminal case charging an unlicensed money remitting business that used a Bitcoin kiosk.

https://www.ice.gov/news/releases/los-angeles-area-man-agrees-plead-guilty-federal-narcotics-money-laundering-charges

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